THE Ivy could be coming to Dorset after all. 

Sources told our sister paper, the Bournemouth Echo, earlier this year that directors had second thoughts about The Ivy coming to Bournemouth town centre following problems with anti-social behaviour. 

BCP council leader, Vikki Slade, said she too had heard The Ivy is no longer coming to Bournemouth “ages ago”. 

For two years, the Echo has been contacting The Ivy for more details on its planning application submitted in early 2022 to open in the former New Look building in The Square - but requests have been continuously ignored.

Dorset Echo: Former New Look building in Bournemouth town centre

But now workmen have been seen going into the building and the outside area has been fenced off with a BCP Council sign on it saying work is being carried out for “Caprice Holdings – The Ivy Collection”. 

Council leader Vikki Slade said it is “brilliant news for the town centre”, adding she believes it has turned a corner in the past year. 

She said: “There are eight or nine other shop units that are going to be opening in the town centre in the next three months, and that’s separate from the House of Fraser student flats project. 

“So it really is coming back. I genuinely believe that things are turning around; the hanging baskets are about to go out, the cleansing has improved.” 

Dorset Echo: Vikki SladeVikki Slade (Image: Newsquest)

Dorset Echo: Sir Conor BurnsSir Conor Burns

Sir Conor Burns, Bournemouth West MP and chair of the Bournemouth Town Centre Action Partnership Group, also welcomed the latest development. 

He said: “If this turns out to be correct, this is really good. Now we have got to work extremely hard to turn around the image of the town centre, to give it its next lease of life. 

“That was the ambition that was explained that the town centre summit and the task force work is all about coordinating that response to build Bournemouth back. 

“Having an Ivy would be a shot in the arm and now we need to make sure that the community support and policing aspect is right, particularly around the begging in the Square area, to make sure it is a destination that people want to come to want to enjoy.” 

The Ivy has been approached for more details.